In Focus: Spring SFFS/KRF Grant Winners!

In Focus: Spring SFFS/KRF Grant Winners!

The Spring SFFS/KRF Grant winners have been announced! SFFS, in partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, is giving away serious money once again, continuing the rapid growth as a prolific funding source in indie cinema—past winners include Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station!

​ Eight filmmaking teams were granted funding a total of $340,000 in funding—the largest amount disbursed to date—to help with their next stage of production, from screenwriting to post. Congratulations to the following filmmakers! We look forward to viewing their work!Read More

On the Scene: Exclusive Interview with Lance Edmands & Kyle Martin

The San Francisco Film Society spent an afternoon with Lance Edmands and Kyle Martin, director and producer of Bluebird - the latest in a long line of FABULOUS films supported by the SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant - before they left for their world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival this week! See for more details. 

Spring 2013 SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant Winners will be announced tomorrow!

SFIFF 56 in Depth: Focus on Asia

Whether you're hankering for gangster action or stunning non-fiction, SFIFF56 has something for every cinephile, especially in our focus on Asian films. Watch trailers here of some the best films in contemporary cinema from Indonesia, China, Japan, Cambodia, South Korea, and Hong Kong - including the award-winning Cold War.   Don't miss their screenings at this year's festival!

The Great Les Blank


The remarkable Bay Area filmmaker Les Blank will be forever remembered for his great and imaginative films. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We are honored to have known him and to have welcomed him and his films to our San Francisco International Film Festival many times, including for a Ten Film Retrospective Tribute in 1995.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Les Blank has changed the ways in which we gather knowledge, understand movies and even celebrate life itself ... His body of work is not only impressive but can stand in for a guide to how to live well. -Sean Uyehara, SFFS Programmer

This year we are proud to honor Les with a program in our festival titled Spend It All, which features three newly restored 16mm films by Les Blank: the west coast premiere of the restoration of Spend it All, a documentary celebrating Cajun food, music and culture, and world premieres of the restorations of rarely seen Chicken Real (1970, 23 min) and Christopher Tree (aka Spontaneous Sound, 1972, 10 min). All film restored by and presented in collaboration with the Academy Film Archive.

In Memorium: The Great Roger Ebert

We are deeply saddened by the news that legendary film critic, journalist, and screenwriter Roger Ebert, passed away today. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. His work influenced many, and raised the bar high for film criticism.

"A great movie can involve not plot but life, and the daily living of it," he wrote in 2005. "Although movies can amuse and excite us, their greatest consolation comes when they understand us." -Ebert at the Movies by Jason Sanders

We are thankful to have honored him at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival with the Novikoff Award.

A Toast to SFIFF56!

Yesterday we toasted to the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival with our Press Conference, Member's Night, and Festival website launch! Our trailer has gone public, film guides are out, and merchandise is in and on sale.  Hats off to our amazing staff, volunteers, members and supporters who made last night a blast!

George, Sean & Willie Welcome the Annual SFIFF UFO

George Gund III was an avid film lover and distinguished philanthropist, and his unwavering support of the San Francisco Film Society spanned more than four decades. He led SFFS and its annual San Francisco International Film Festival into a period of unprecedented growth and success, resulting in a robust year-round cultural organization that now reaches more cinema enthusiasts and supports more filmmakers than any other time in its history.

Just for fun, George joined Sean Penn, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and Bay Area writer Armistead Maupin in making a cameo appearance in the 41st San Francisco International Film Festival trailer at Tosca Cafe.

And just so you know - The press conference for our 56th San Francisco Interplanetary Film Festival is just a few days away (April 2)!!

SFIFF56 In-Depth: Honoring An Audio Tech Pioneer

The San Francisco Film Society announced today that Ray Dolby, inventor of numerous recording technologies and founder of local industry powerhouse Dolby Laboratories, will be the recipient of the George Gund III Award at Film Society Awards Night during the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 25–May 9). The George Gund III Award, given in tribute to the longstanding Film Society chairman of the board who passed away earlier this year, honors a worthy member of the filmmaking community for their outstanding and unique contributions to the art of cinema.

Ray Dolby, founder and director emeritus of Dolby Laboratories, pioneers Dolby’s work in noise reduction and later in surround sound has earned extensive recognition worldwide. He holds more than 50 U.S. patents, and has received many accolades for his work, among them an Academy Award for Scientific or Technical achievement and an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Flashback Friday: A dramatic slice of SFIFF40 Life

We've been working hard over here at the Film Society to prepare for our exciting 56th SF International Film Festival and thought a flashback in time would be a good reminder for us to remember where all this hard work is going. Take a break and remember the glitz, glamor, and celebrations of SFIFF Life from 1997, because as our announcer says:

An international film festival is a dramatic slice of life.

Get ready to enjoy our 56th!

SFIFF56 In-Depth: Big Nights

Our countdown is going, and our much anticipated SF International Film Festival is just 34 days away!  We're excited to announce that we'll be opening our 56th with Scott McGehee and David Siegel's film What Maisie Knew, celebrating our Centerpiece with Jacob Kornbluth's film Inequality for All, and closing with the last of the beloved trilogy Before Midnight by Richard Linklater.

Member tickets available for Big Night films today.
Open to the general public tomorrow, March 22.

Directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel (USA 2012)

In this loose adaptation of Henry James's 1897 novel of the same name, Scott McGehee and David Siegel focus on the effects of a marriage's unraveling as viewed through the eyes of a couple's six-year-old daughter. Shuttling between narcissistic parents and bemused but compassionate parental stand-ins, young Maisie comes face to face with the mercurial world of grown-ups who are anything but. With Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård, Onata Aprile, Steve Coogan.

Directed by Richard Linklater (USA 2012)

They're still the same romantic, articulate and gorgeous couple that met on a train in Linklater's Before Sunrise (1995), but now, nearly 20 years on, Jesse and Céline (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) are approaching middle age and facing questions of commitment, family and, as ever, the staying power of love. Before Midnight, with a funny and touching screenplay cowritten by Linklater and his two lead actors, is that rare sequel (rarer still: a sequel to a sequel) that not only delivers the charm and energy of its antecedents but adds layers of poignancy, standing firmly on its own as a mature observation of love's pleasures and discontents. With Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Prior, Charlotte Prior.

Directed by Jacob Kornbluth (USA 2013)

In this Inconvenient Truth for the economy, the Sundance Special Jury Award-winning Inequality For All introduces former Secretary of Labor (and current UC Berkeley professor) Robert Reich as an inspirational and humorous guide in exploring the causes and consequences of the widening income gap in America and asks what is means for the future of our economy and nation. Passionate and insightful, Reich connects the dots for viewers by providing a comprehensive and significantly deeper understanding of what's at stake if we don't act.

On the Scene: Exclusive Interview with Destin Daniel Cretton

We caught up with Destin Daniel Cretton, who is riding high from his recent sweep at SXSW -- his world premiere of Short Term 12 won both 2013 Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award for Narrative Feature competition!  Short Term 12 was a 2012 SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant winner for postproduction. The video features an insightful interview with Destin about his filmmaking background and creative process, and includes behind-the-scenes footage from the film!

A film by Patrick Trefz for the San Francisco Film Society
Edited by Rosendo Ayala